03/30/2011

A besieged Indian airport

Today's cricket match between India and Pakistan made the Geneva newspapers, but what connection with aviation?


As reported in the Tribune de Genève today, India and Pakistan play each other today, 30 March, in the semi-final of the cricket world cup. According to the report, this can also be a prelude to inter-governmental talks, especially necessary when we remember that the two nations have fought each other three times since 1947, that both countries are nuclear powers and that this is the first match between the two cricket sides since the Mumbai terror attacks.

A report in the Times notes that everyone who is anyone will be going there: oligarchs, moguls, mafiosi bosses and film stars will be flying there in private jets. Unfortunately, as can be seen by looking on Google Earth at the nearest airport to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, Chandigarh International, there is not much room to park these private jets. Therefore, probably only prime ministers will be allowed to have their aircraft stay there while they watch the match: other lesser mortals will be allowed to land, but their aircraft will then have to go and be parked at some other airport.

The air traffic will certainly add to the statistics of passengers and aircraft movements at that airport. A web site showing information about it indicates around 8000 movements and 470,000 passengers per year at the moment.

For those people reading this blog, but who know little about cricket, there is a nice concise definition available on the Web. For the benefit of Americans, who the British always like to needle a little bit, we often say that it is like baseball but with intelligence added. However, the knowing people will reply with glee  that we (England) were absolutely thrashed my 10 wickets (!) by Sri Lanka, previously known as Ceylon, in the quarter-final.

Actually, we British have a well-deserved reputation for exporting sporting activities to other nations, who then learn to beat us. We were at the origins of sliding down snow slopes on planks of wood as fast as possible, but now that the sport has become international, changing its name to skiing, we are lagging well behind most of the time.

Anyone for tiddlywinks?

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